Response to Governor Ivey Signing HB 317

The signing of Alabama House Bill 317 deeply disappointed me. It is an act that serves to benefit special interests, not the people of Alabama. I sent the enclosed letter to the Governor to make my view publically clear.

I already tried private communication. While the bill was awaiting her signature, I spoke with the Governor and urged her to do the right thing. I did not attack her in the press or on social media, because this is something we should reach genuine agreement on, all of us who seek to serve. If we want people to have faith in their elected leaders, we all need to work together for ethics laws that hold the highest standards.

Soon, new elections will be upon us. There are plenty of issues on which to base a vote – healthcare (whether we bring our federal Medicaid dollars home to save rural hospitals), education (whether we create a lottery dedicated to our children’s future), and economic justice (whether we increase the minimum wage). We now have one more issue – whether we have open, accountable ethics laws.

If you are upset about H.B. 317 or any of the actions taken by our current elected officials, you have the chance to vote them out.
On that note, you will be hearing from me again.

3 replies
  1. Jason
    Jason says:

    I am just brushing on my candidate research and while I am a registered republican voter, my vote could be swung in the opposite direction depending on the candidate. I support legalization of gambling and a state lottery. We are definitely behind the times in Alabama. However, my question is about HB317. My limited understanding is that the bill makes economic developers meeting in secret on the behalf of corporations have to register as a lobbyist and disclose who they are representing. Merely saying that it would take Alabama out of the running for them to bring their business to Alabama sounds a little misleading. If they want to do business in secret, then why is keeping secretive corporations out of our state a bad thing? In an age where we are promised transparency left and right by every politician running for office, why do you support a lack of transparency when it comes to corporations and their representatives?

    • Sue Bell Cobb
      Sue Bell Cobb says:

      Jason, I was opposed to HB 317 for those reasons and many more. This new law opens up loopholes in our state’s ethics laws that will benefit lobbyists and special interests, not the people of Alabama.

  2. Jason
    Jason says:

    But not allowing them to meet secretly without transparency about who they are meeting for is a good thing. Why are you against that? What loopholes is it opening?


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